Abstractions



"Narrated by hermaphroditic Lucifer ("Light-Bringer," à la similarly illuminating herm Tiresias in graphic novel marrying illustration + photo à la un/reality) pondering own relevance in face of (unambiguous) human atrocity (weight of real world pressing on superstition ) as apocalypse approaches (for him: end of fantastic face of evil – "man shall ascend"), summons hip-hop demons Beelzebub + Belial (Milton’s fallen angels; society’s rejects engine of soc’s downfall), who’ve cooked up scheme to tempt arts activist (w/illo Tooks’ diabolical plot to spur personal Armageddon thru work) Black Lily (mixture of im/purities; temptation testing own motives in creating) Baptiste (cleansing/initiatory function similar to Luc’s); switch in voice to hers (emergence of Luc’s fem-side – mirrored on opposite pages/panels – as he becomes purely masculine, fem influence in world to counter macho-fueled destruction), introducing self + community (explosion of devil + demons’ own : good outweighing bad in world/self – including Luc, who interjects to express interest ["to be closer to her is to be closer to Him": men’s salvation in own femininity]) tag-teaming w/ his narration (story still his)."
From Steven R. Johnson's deliriousfilm.com-
An 'abstraction' of Lucifer's Garden of Verses vol. 1 "The Devil on Fever Street"
http://www.deliriousfilm.com/hindsight/devilonfeverstreet.html



My first encounter with the "Delirious" way of watching movies came in '93, in a magazine shop in New York's Greenwich Village. I've long been fascinated by myths, dreams & psychology, so it was love at first sight. To quote publisher Johnson:

"The main approach of DELIRIOUS is the treatment of film as dream. This is by no means an original concept: Freud might have been the first to regard film this way in his approach to Cocteau’s Blood of a Poet, but everyone and his analyst have since noted the correlation and written detailed works in that vein, including fascinating volumes by Bruce Kawin, Patrick Lucanio and Robert Eberwein. As the product of the imaginative input of more than one mind, however, most movies lend themselves to an analysis of not only an individual’s inner workings but those of a greater community as well, providing a profile of at least one facet of a given culture, society, subgroup, maybe even era. After a few years of such observation and critique, several running themes present themselves as worthy of repeat discussion, sometimes glossed over in the text of DELIRIOUS but perhaps benefiting from further explication here. The following, then, is a brief synopsis of these recurrent motifs common to both psychoanalytic and film theory..."
From the Delirious Users guide- http://www.deliriousfilm.com/guidepg.html

Every comics piece I've written since has been influenced by that magazine I bought, including 'NARCISSA' (2002) & 'Divided by Infinity' (1994), which Steve did me the honor of abstracting here: http://www.deliriousfilm.com/hindsight/dividedbyinfinity.html
When creating a book I always go in with two tales to tell: the story itself... and the understory, which is a lot more fun for me.
Whether it's Narcissa sloshing barefoot thru a pitch-black labyrinth beneath a ancient Spanish castle; banished princess Niki infiltrating Gojira Tower to confront the judgmental father who abandoned her; or the acidic journalist Amo Tanzer's frenzied rainstorm taxi-ride into limbo (with an inebriated driver who I always thought of as 'the ferryman')... my favorite part of comics making has been making personal contact with the films, myths, comics, songs & dreams that impressed me.

Often reviewers do a superficial reading of a film, dismissing a forgotten auteur like, Tony Crechales for example, because his reach may have exceeded his grasp financially... but Delirious is not in the 'dismissing business'.
http://www.deliriousfilm.com/crechales/pointofterror.html
Artists like Crechales had a valid reason for doing the work they did, intentionally or sometimes not, and their modest yarns can resonate deeply with a viewer who wasn't even born when the movie was released.
I often wonder, about storytellers in general, why some (like my Uncle George) can weave a tale at the dinner table that sticks with you for decades after he told it... while other folks can't, even with millions of dollars of studio money, state of the art computer effects & a bucket of popcorn in your lap. A cousin, on the other hand, might wait impatiently for Uncle George to finish talking because he's got tickets to go watch 'Batman Begins' for the third time. Dif'rent Strokes.

I'm very appreciative of any reader who does me the honor of spending their valuable time (& $) with my graphic novels...
...especially those perfect strangers who have over the last dozen years, taken the time to write me thoughtful letters.
But, I'm especially grateful to my friend Steven R. Johnson for such an astute & careful reading of my comics... which his own 'DeliriousFilm' in part inspired.


(images from Lucifer's Garden of Verses vol. 1 "The Devil on Fever Street" by Lance Tooks)

Comments

Hey Lance, do you by any chance know what happened to the Delirious Film site? It seems to be gone (though partially accessible through the Internet Archive, eg at http://web.archive.org/web/20080109173123/http://www.deliriousfilm.com/). I'd actually like to buy a book of that entire site, if such a book existed!
Thanks,
Brian

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